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Globe, American, Rand McNally, Terrestrial World, 3-Inch Table Globe, Glass Paperweight Stand, Chicago, c. 1891-1914


Rand McNally & Co.
3-Inch Paperweight Magnifier Globe
Chicago: c. 1891 to 1914
Domed magnifying glass base
5.5 inches high; 3 inches diameter, base

The terrestrial globe canted at an angle in metal uncalibrated half meridian, with a simple stem, raised on a domed rounded magnifying glass base. Canada is colored yellow, Alaska and North America pink, and Mexico and Greenland creamy yellow. Oceans are colored light blue. St. Petersburg is shown, indicating a date before 1914.

The domed glass magnifier model is shown in an 1893 Rand McNally trade catalog, identified as No. 1000, priced $1.00. This globe could be used as a paperweight, and the glass base used as a magnifying glass, particularly for printed text or graphics beneath it.  Indeed, an example of this globe on a domed wooden base is described in a 1902 Rand McNally catalog as a “Paper Weight.”

Product description continues below.


In the last decades of the 19th century, Chicago became the leading center for commercial cartographic publishing in the United States. As the hub of the expanding American railroad system, it was logical for Chicago publishers to incorporate the latest railway routes into a complex mapping of America. In addition, cerography, an innovative wax-engraving printing technique, was adopted by Chicago publishers enabling larger printings and more efficient updates of maps and atlases.

Rand McNally and Company became a preeminent publisher of maps and atlases in Chicago in the 1870s and 1880s, then ventured into globe making in the 1890s, and continues in business today. As noted by scholar and librarian Cynthia H. Peters, the company “has become synonymous with mapmaking in American life,” and “[t]heir success highlights the movement of the American map publishing industry’s center of gravity from the East to the Midwest.”

Shield-form cartouche on globe: RAND,/ McNALLY &/ CO.’s/ New 3 INCH/ TERRESTRIAL/ GLOBE/

Additional Legend on Globe in South Indian Ocean: Rand, McNally & Co’s/ New 3 Inch/ Terrestrial Globe./ Copyright 1891, by/ Rand McNally & Co.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear and handling. Minor abrasions professionally restored. Meridian and metal stem uniformly oxidized, probably formerly with nickel plating. Base very good with no chips, but with minor imperfection within the glass where metal stem of the meridian is attached to the base, as is generally encountered on examples of this globe.


Educational Catalogue Maps and Globes. Chicago & New York, Rand, McNally & Company: c. 1893 (Chicago World’s Fair Edition, undated).

Peters, Cynthia H. “Rand, McNally in the Nineteenth Century: Reaching for a National Market.” Chicago History: The Magazine of the Chicago Historical Society, Spring 1984, Vol.8, No. 1, Chicago Historical Society, Chicago: 1984. pp. 64-72.

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